A lot has happened since my last blog post. There has been a turning point in my life, of that I am quite certain. It started with the sinking of my beloved poling skiff "The Double Haul". The months it took to work out all of the details with the insurance company etc., left me plenty of time to think. For the last 4 years I have chased fish in saltwater, on fly, almost to exclusion. I am hopelessly addicted to sight fishing, and that just doesn't exist in the inland waters where I live. You see I live about 2.5 hours from the SC coast. I used to live Beaufort, SC. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I have been trying to get back there ever since my family moved away.
I now have 2 small boys. I have a full time career at a busy medical practice. I have a wonderful wife whom I adore. As I began making plans to replace my skiff, things began to change in my mind and in my soul. It didn't feel right. I tired to brush that feeling away and forged ahead. No matter what I did, I couldn't shake the feeling that I wasn't doing the right thing.
One Sunday a few weeks ago I took my youngest son to the lake. We played on the playground, and fished a little bit. We had a picnic and held hands while we walked down the bank throwing rocks. It was then that I realized that I had only done this a few times with him. It was then that I realized why my conscience wouldn't be still about another skiff. My life had changed. I had two small boys who were growing so fast that I could barely keep up. I realized more than anything that I didn't want to miss this time. It no longer made sense to make the long drive to the coast and chase redfish. I wanted more time with my family.
The next day I cancelled my skiff order. It wasn't an easy thing to do. Somehow doing the right thing never is. In the process of all of this soul searching, I also discovered a world of fishing at my doorstep that I had neglected for years now. There was smallmouth in my backyard, endless creek fishing, stripers in the lake, shad in the river. There was no shortage of fishing to get into.
I have picked up a little 14 foot jon boat. It'll be perfect for showing my boys the world around us. Im looking forward to more time on my home waters. Im not giving up on redfish by a long shot. I'll still make an occasional trip to see my crew on the coast and chase tailers. Until then, I have a lot of work to do here at home. Im a husband, a father, a church worker, and a healthcare professional. Even though Im busy doing all of those things, Im still a fly fisherman, and that will never change.